|You paid money to run 50 miles?|
This past weekend was a flurry of errands. Here's what I got:
- 12 gels (10 Gu brand, 2 Honey Stinger fruit smoothie because they are delicious)
- 6 packs of gu chomps various flavors some with caffeine
- smokey tempeh (for protein in my drop bag)
- salmon jerky (for protein in my drop bag)
- a cheap watch (because I lost my other one)
- KT tape - I don't know if I'll use it or not, but it was on sale at Target
- gallon zipper close plastic baggies
- blister bandaid strips
I wanted to have something to look forward to eat in my drop bags. Unfortunately it's tough when you're at an aid station and the only protein options is turkey or peanut butter. I've eaten tempeh "bacon" during ultimate tournaments before it provided the right amount of salty, chewy, protein that I needed. I figured it'd be worth a shot and I don't really need to worry about keeping it cold. I've got a couple other things on my list to get but I put a good dent on Saturday.
Unfortunately my body is rebelling against me right now and I'm trying to fight off the early stages of a cold (stuffy nose, scratchy throat etc). I purchased some zinc tablets and some throat lozenges and have been pounding those and Vitamin C, here's hoping for a full recovery before Saturday.
I went through the race website and put together all the info regarding elevation, turn by turn navigation, course map, estimated times etc. I'm going to make a pace card for myself to show me at each aid station what the estimated time should be for a 10hr race (ohhh how ambitious!) a 12hr race (the goal) and a 14hr race (the cut offs). I figured a 10hr estimation would give me some motivation or remind me to slow down a bit if I'm going to fast. Also I want to make sure I can actually spend some time in the aid stations so this give me an idea of when I need to be heading back out on the course.
I've been able to run a few sections of the course now which will be a big help. In total I've run about 38 miles of the 50mile course. There are some good climbs, but nothing compared to what you see at Quad Rock. The total elevation gain is 7,350 feet over the course of the race. Here's what it looks like:
So pretty consistent up and down with a long downhill at the end. The race is almost entirely on single track with a few "service road" type sections that don't take up too much of the course. I remember the downhills being really fast and fun and I can't wait to stretch out my legs on them. Ideally I will have run a smart enough race I'll be able to run the section between the Meadows (miles 22.3 through 31.9) and final downhill. The climb from Buffalo Creek to Homestead isn't crazy steep, but it's long and I remember feeling tired doing it during the last training run.
There's some pretty hot, exposed sections of the course due to the two large wildfires that cut through the area in the past. I've been warned by a lot of past runners that these sections are hot, long and brutal. Especially during the heat of the day. I haven't settled on exactly how I am going to handle these sections, but I have some thoughts.
- A hat, I'm going to wear a hat, probably for most of the race.
- A camelbak, I never got a fancy new hydration pack, but I've been running with the trusty camelbak for awhile now and it's been fine. I thought about just doing a water bottle since the aid stations are close enough to refuel, but I'd rather have more water, maps, food then needed and the extra water can be doused on my hat and put on my head for a quick cook down.
- Bandannas, I am thinking of packing some in the drop bags to dunk in water at aid stations or put ice in if they have it to get through some hot sections.
Temps are looking good for the day, the high is 74 and the low is 46. There are no storms predicted, but it's Colorado so it will for sure rain/thunder/hail at some point during the race. Perhaps I'll get lucky and it will be on another part of the course, or perhaps I will get lucky and the rain will come as I run through the burn areas. I'm also packing a lot of salt pills and will be taking those often.
Additional Gear thoughts:
I am still figuring out what to wear on race day. I've really enjoyed my new patagonia shorts, their pockets are good and they have a nice back pocket which my old ones do not. I do think it would be wise not to try and shove M&Ms in the butt pocket despite their thick candy shell.
|I think you're brain has a thick candy shell|
- a jacket
- ankle brace
- long sleeve
- extra socks
- winter hat
- maybe pants. I highly doubt I'll need pants, but it's better to have them in a drop bag just in case.
So really, my ultimate goal for this race is to finish. It's my first 50miler and crossing the finish line will be the best thing ever. I'm sure I'll be all weird and emotional when I get to the paved path around the lake at the very end, knowing that I can stumble into the finish. Finishing will be huge, really that's the biggest and most important goal for me. I do have some secondary goals:
- Finish in 12 hrs. I think with my training this is doable. If I feel good I see no reason why I can't make this happen
- Focus on my self and not get distracted. As we'd say on Molly Brown "IRRELEVANT", I'm going to focus on me, running, food and liquids. I am not going to worry about other runners or other people on the course and just be there because ultimately it's my two legs that will do the race.
- Not throw-up. I don't like throwing up and that just sounds really unpleasant.
- Drink a beer at the last aid station - Andy Jung said he'd have a cold one waiting. Hopefully by completing this goal I won't fail at the preceding goal.
- Be proud of myself, no matter what happens I'm proud that I took on this challenge.